Jaclyn DeForge, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching first and second grade in the South Bronx, and went on to become a literacy coach and earn her Masters of Science in Teaching. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators.
Before I start discussing close reading in the second grade classroom, I want to take a minute to acknowledge educators and students across the Northeast, who over the past two weeks have dealt with not just superstorm Sandy, but a Nor’easter! Some schools sustained significant flooding and damage, or have classrooms without heat or power. And in some areas, even though the children are back in the classrooms, after a long day teachers and students head home to clean and repair damage sustained to their own homes and communities. And last week, they did that in the wind and snow. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. My thoughts are with everyone who continues to be affected by this awful streak of weather.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be modeling how to do a close reading at several different grade levels. Last week, I wrote about close reading in first grade. Next up: Close Reading in Second Grade using the L level text Under the Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine and illustrated by Rene King Moreno.
In terms of student questioning, start general and move up Bloom’s Taxonomy by gradually increasing the rigor. For example, say you want to focus your close reading of Under the Lemon Moon on author’s craft, specifically focusing on language and word choice in just the first six pages of the story (2nd grade reading standard for literature, Craft and Structure, strand 4, AND 2nd grade language standards, Vocabulary Acquisition and Use, strands 4-6 from the Common Core Standards). Here are the questions I would ask: